Comics at ALA

Greetings from ALA!

Comics are everywhere here (though it looks like I’m losing the comics vs. graphic novels battle), and there’s tons of interesting stuff going on. I just watched a presentation from iVerse on ComicsPlus for Libraries, a service launching in August that will allow libraries to digitally lend comics the same way they do ebooks through services like Overdrive.

The service looks promising, and there’s a lot of deserved praise for their commercial app, but I was disappointed to see that it seems like it still won’t do anything for discovery. That’s one of our big hobbyhorses here at the LCL, and the subject of our continued work with ComicBot at MLLL.org.

While the app is visually beautiful, and the interactions are lovely, the only method of organization is by publisher, which is a convention that comes straight out of the comic book store. Browsing by publisher is a great way to make hardcore fans feel comfortable, but it’s not a great way to get readers beyond their comfort zone, introduce them to new work, and break down the silos that so define comics. ComicsPlus’ catalog does a great job of crossing these boundaries, it’s too bad their discovery doesn’t.